As Ireland moves into Phase Two of its COVID-19 lockdown exit strategy, TFI Local Link is urging passengers to pre-book its Door-to-Door services in order to maintain social distance requirements as capacity on its services is limited.
While passengers are still able to travel on TFI Local Link services at peak times for essential trips such as medical appointments and grocery shopping, passengers should only travel at off-peak times provided that capacity is available and they are not availing of seats required by other passengers for essential trips. Pre-booking seats is essential in this instance for Door-to-Door services.
Margaret Malone, Rural Transport Manager, said: “ TFI Local Link services provide passengers in rural areas with essential transportation, especially during the pandemic when family or friends are unable to assist their loved ones due to social distancing measures.
“This is why it is vital that seats are pre-booked on Door-to-Door services, as capacity is restricted and there are few seats available.
“TFI Local Link wants to ensure that passengers are making essential journeys and not otherwise availing of seats required for other passengers. We appreciate our passengers’ understanding in this matter.”
As with all public transport journeys, TFI Local Link are asking passengers to ensure that their journeys are essential so that social distancing requirements are met on all services. While some routes are running extra services to meet newly increased demand, TFI Local Link continues to encourage passengers to call their TFI Local Link office to ensure there is capacity for them to travel; passengers may also pre-book seats on Door-to-Door services over the phone.
TFI Local Link reiterates that face coverings are highly advised on all services. Enhanced daily cleaning regimes are currently in effect on all services, and passengers are discouraged from travel if they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.
Face coverings are recommended in situations where social distancing is not possible, for example in shops and on busy public transport, or if you are meeting someone who is vulnerable to the virus, for example people who are cocooning. Wearing cloth face coverings may help prevent people who do not know they have the virus from spreading it to others.
Wearing of face coverings is recommended in the following circumstances:
– when staying 2 metres apart from people is difficult – for example, in shops, shopping centres or public transport
– by people visiting the homes of those who are cocooning
– by people who are being visited in their homes by those who are cocooning
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “Our message is simple; if you are in situations where social distancing is difficult, such as on public transport or in shops, please wear a face covering. It’s also a good idea to wear one when you are visiting someone who is vulnerable to the virus. In this way, we can help to reduce the spread of the virus, which is more important than ever as our country continues to reopen.”
Minister for Health Simon Harris TD said: “Wearing a face covering will help you to protect those around you. It is not a magic shield, but it is an additional measure aimed at stopping the spread of this virus. If you cannot keep a 2 metre distance, we recommend you use face coverings. We are strongly encouraging people on public transport to use them, in shops and supermarkets. And if you are visiting a loved one who is over 70 or someone who has a medical condition, we are asking you to wear a face covering and help shield and protect the most vulnerable.”
Minister for Transport Shane Ross said: “It’s been a tough few months for everyone in the country, as we have stayed away from loved ones and friends in order to keep each other safe. We’ve worked so well together, and we can now all benefit from the results. So please, if you need to take public transport, go out shopping or are visiting older relatives or people who may be vulnerable or at risk, wear a face covering. It’s an easy thing to do and you may save lives by this one simple act.”
Anne Graham, CEO of the NTA said: “…we would join with the Taoiseach and Ministers Ross and Harris in urging people to wear face coverings while on a bus, tram, train or taxi. Doing so will increase protection for other customers and for public transport workers.
“We believe that this is an important part of the effort to rebuild confidence in public transport as restrictions are eased across the country.”
People wearing face coverings are still advised to do the important things necessary to prevent the spread of the virus.
– washing your hands properly and often
– covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze
– not touching your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
– social distancing (keeping at least 2 metres away from other people)
Cloth face coverings are not suitable for children under the age of 13 and anyone who:
– has trouble breathing
– is unconscious or incapacitated
– is unable to remove it without help
– has a disability and who may feel upset or uncomfortable wearing the face covering